Vitamin D and Prevention of Chronic Diseases

Below is a video about vitamin D that will change your life and possibly help you overcome serious diseases and medical conditions. This video is presented through the University of California Television, UCTV. Dr. Michael Holick has long been a promoter of vitamin D even at the risk of his career. He has been repeatedly attacked and lost his job at one point. He has become very cautious in his presentations on vitamin D. This video was made in 2009 and there has been much new science published since then on the advantages of vitamin D for health.

The video is about one hour long. It is very entertaining as Dr. Holick helps you to understand the science in a consumable reality. In the video Dr. Holick expresses the need to keep your serum level of 25(OH)D above 30 ng/ml. However, at the end of the video, please note that his average level is 52 ng/ml. This is the bottom of the level typically achieve by the indigenous populations along the equator. I do believe that the best levels to maintain are 60 to 80 ng/ml which is well within the norms of clinical practice of 30 ng/ml to 100 ng/ml. At these higher levels, be sure that you are getting enough magnesium as well.

Dr. Michael Holick Vitamin D and Prevention of Chronic Diseases http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq1t9WqOD-0

The only way to know for sure that you have the correct amount of vitamin D is to be tested. Enjoy Health. – Pandemic Survivor

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VITAMIN D reduces 42 health problems

Henry Lahore at VitaminDWiki list forty-two health problems as proven by Double-blind random-controlled-trials.

Hypertension,  Cardiovascular,  Back Pain,  Diabetes,  Influenza,  Falls,  Hip Fractures,  Breast Cancer, Raynaud’s pain,  Menstrual Pain,  C-section and pregnancy risks,  Low Birth Weight, Chronic Kidney Disease, Cystic Fibrosis,  Rheumatoid Arthritis,  TB,  Rickets,  Respiratory Tract Infection, Lupus, Sickle Cell pain, leg ulcers, traumatic brain injury. Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Congestive Heart Failure,  Middle Ear Infection, Gingivitis, Muscles in seniors, Antibiotic use in seniors, Taller Infants, Gestational Diabetes, Heart Strength following an attack, Prostate Cancer, Asthma, Depression, Breastfeeding, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Hives, cholesterol, Weight Loss: http://is.gd/proofvitd

What else do you need to know to be sure you have an adequate serum vitamin D level?   – Pandemic Survivor

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Keep Them out of the Sun!

Since this past fall, there has been an orchestrated campaign against the findings of health from vitamin D. The latest such attack has come from Dr. Mark Bolland, lead researcher in a recent finding. This in today’s Daily Mail: “He and his colleagues in the department of medicine at Auckland University, New Zealand, analysed the results of nearly 50 trials involving more than 200,000 people. They found that vitamin D supplements had little or no impact on the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer or even bone fractures.”

From the same article, Professor Philippe Autier of France is even more blatant: “The vitamin D fad, he says, is just ‘a commercial promotion campaign’ in which sellers of supplements, UV lamps, fortified foods and blood tests are ‘taking advantage of disease-mongering around so-called vitamin D deficiency’”

Then there is this news release from Columbia University: “Study Finds No Evidence That Vitamin D Supplements Reduce Depression”

Given that they believe their own work, I think the solution is simple; keep them out of the sun for a year with no vitamin D supplements. If they survive this experience, then, we can see what type of diseases they have developed during this test. It all seems very reasonable to me. If they survive and develop no disease then we can say that they are correct. If they developed significant disease states, then this could be documented and their contribution to science and health would have been achieved.

We should also add the journalist to this cohort as well for just passing along information that is based on lack of logic and science. The number of people that have jumped on this band wagon should give us a very large cohort. I say lack of science because most of the studies reviewed are based on supplementation with very small amounts of vitamin D and second the studies are based on supplementation and not serum levels of vitamin D. Serum levels do not respond equally to supplementation or sunshine exposure.

Small amounts in supplementation in many studies are just ridiculous. Consider that we have long told the population of the world that all they needed was 400 IU of vitamin D daily. Studies have been based on this amount that is used to keep a ten pound (4.5kg) baby from getting rickets. So just how much vitamin D is this? 400 IU is equal to 0.01 milligrams or 10 micrograms. This is the amount that people with light skin color would make in about thirty seconds in the midday summer sun with sixty percent of their skin exposed. Okay, so let’s rewrite Dr. Bolland’s statement with this understanding: “They found that thirty seconds in the midday summer sun had little or no impact on the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer or even bone fractures.” Hunh? I guess that I could have just figured that out without a study. What about thirty minutes in the midday summer sun Dr. Bolland? Isn’t that how we used to cure tuberculosis?

How easy it is to just jump on the ‘band wagon’ for a joy ride because everyone else says that it will be fun. Journalist, are you prepared to spend a year without sunshine to prove the scientist correct? I am glad I am not the person paying for these studies – wait, maybe I have through one of the divisions of Health and Human Services. Anyway, this type of logic almost killed me from severe sleep apnea to say nothing of three decades of pain. – “Disease mongering around vitamin D deficiency” – Pandemic Survivor

Wellness from the Sun has Changed Forever

Henry Lahore of Vitamin D Wiki and with the help of others is putting out a video to help people understand how our relationship to the sun has changed over the last fifty years.  We have moved from outdoors to indoors.  Activities including work and play have all moved inside.  All of our energy for health which includes all the food that we eat comes from the sun.  Now, with sunscreens to shield us from the sun and sheltering inside, chronic diseases have increased significantly.

Highlights of the video include:

  • Diseases from low sun exposure
  • How food sources from decades ago were higher in vitamin D
  • How much vitamin D to take to get started
  • Blood test should be used to determine if your vitamin D level is high enough
  • The science behind the understanding of how vitamin D works for wellness
  • The video is to be made available so that it can easily be provided with voice over for eighty eight different languages
  • All of this in only five minutes in an easily understood format

One of the features of the video is a doctor that raised serum levels of vitamin D for his patients to 80 ng/ml.  This is well within the normal ranges of 30 to 100 ng/ml.  The patients in his clinic went from an average of four visits per year to one visit per year.  This statement should be significant in raising your awareness of the power of the sun and how it affects us and society as a whole.  I will let you know when this video becomes available. When it is available, please pass it along on face book, twitter, and any other public means that you have available. – Pandemic Survivor

Vitamins and Minerals or Not

“There are two kinds of charlatan: the man who is called a charlatan, and the man who really is one. The first is the quack who cures you; the second is the highly qualified person who doesn’t.”  G. K. Chesterton Illustrated London News 2-15-1908 from Chesterton.org.

There has been a flurry of news articles during December about vitamins and minerals.  It was started by an editorial in the Annals of Internal Medicine, “Enough is Enough: Stop Wasting Money on Vitamins and Mineral Supplements.” – E. Guallar, et. Al. The editorial ended with the words of total authority, “case closed” and “enough is enough”.  Following the large gathering crowd movement or jumping on the “bandwagon” of lemmings, there were also many negative articles about vitamin D, like “Vitamin D Fails to Ease Winter Colds and Coughs” New York Times Blog.   Of course the study represented was using only 1000 IU of vitamin D.  Not nearly enough to adequately boost your immune system.  Why do a study to determine if one to five minutes in the midday summer sun will stop a cold?

Toward the end of the month and even today you can find articles that are refuting the negative news about vitamin and minerals.  Doctors and writers site case after case of where vitamins and minerals are necessary to heal and prevent disease.  It is a war of seeming experts explaining how the interpretation of the research is invalid and the research is also flawed.  But what are you to do if you cannot read the research and make a decision on your own?  You can choose to trust the experts, but which experts?  You can do nothing and not assure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals and you have followed the expert’s advice by default.  You can wait until you get a very life threatening disease and when allopathic medicine has failed you, start looking for a solution.  I am sorry that I waited until I was almost dead before evaluating the research myself.  I know that most of you do not have the means, time, or understanding necessary to make these decisions on your own.  How are you going to believe the quack that wants to cure you?

Unfortunately for you, the articles refuting the earlier articles are mostly being ignored by the main stream press and the population in general.  First in is really a big deal in a marketing war.  You become immune to the rhetoric and just skip over the article even if it did make it to your consumed media.

Many of you do not realize that there is a large marketing campaign happening on both sides to get your money.  Whether it is the “experts” that practice allopathic medicine or the “alternative” group that also wants to get your money, a marketing war is being fought hard in the press.  In earlier times, especially in a time of manipulation of the world’s population, this type of action was called propaganda.  Propaganda is a word that you don’t see much anymore because of the negative connotation, but its practice and techniques are deluged on you every day.

Consider the various types of propaganda techniques as listed by Oracle ThinkQuest Education Foundation:   Assertion, Bandwagon, Card Stacking or selective omission, Glittering Generalities, Lesser of Two Evils, Name Calling, Pinpointing the Enemy, Plain Folks (this is my favorite technique), Simplification or Stereotyping, Testimonials, and Transfer or viewing one item the same way you view another item.  Are you dizzy yet?  The marketers depend on that.  We have all used these techniques to persuade people to come around to our viewpoint.  Politics, marketing, and marketing passing itself off as science are thrown at us every day from our many media sources. Experts are paid handsomely to present confusing facts as “case closed”.  All of these propaganda techniques were tossed at you in December.

Your health is important to you.  Health insurance is not the solution.  Becoming informed is the solution and don’t throw away the advice of quacks just because some expert used name calling to try to get you away from their understanding.  Don’t always trust the information from experts without confirming what is being said.  This is a life-long task of hard work to sort through marketing versus fact, truth versus relative truth, and what is it really that gives you health.  To not do this deadly – Pandemic Survivor

“There are two kinds of paradoxes. They are not so much the good and the bad, nor even the true and the false. Rather they are the fruitful and the barren; the paradoxes which produce life and the paradoxes that merely announce death. Nearly all modern paradoxes merely announce death.”  G.K. Chesterton ILN 3-11-1911, Chesterton.org.

Find the comment balloon to the right of the title.  You may have to move your cursor over it for it to show.  I would like to know your thoughts.

Mesmerized by Epimerization

Franz Mesmer was a German born physician that had interest related to human and animal behavior.  He contended that through ‘animal magnetism’, significant physical results could be realized.  His name is the basis for the word Mesmerized.  It has been an unfortunate occurrence in vitamin D science that the medical professionals and the general population have been hypnotized like chickens with a line drawn in the dirt. (We did this as kids – check it out Chicken Hypnotized) We all need a nudge to wake up from this surreal dream.  The following is not for the faint of heart or for those that do not have the curiosity to pursue a deeper understanding.  If not curious, then just watch the chicken video and have a good day.

Epimerization is simply the difference in the positioning or bond angle of the OH group in the Carbon 3 position of the vitamin D compound.  What do we know about how much difference a bond angle will make?  It seems that this bond angle is of significance in genetic expression, so let’s explore.  Check out this example for the sugar glucose: Epimers

It came to my attention several years ago that one of the local hospitals that was attached to a state university was doing vitamin D testing only on D2 and its metabolites.  The reasoning was that the clinicians wanted only to know the level of the drug, vitamin D2, because this is what had been prescribed.  The logic was that the level of the hormonal metabolites of natural vitamin D3 were so low that it was of no consequence.  After all, there had been a great job done for the last fifty years of scaring people out of the sun.  Or maybe, this was not exactly the logic, but I am sure this is close.  So the mixture of treating D3 and D2 as equals and ignoring the total effect of the metabolites of these pre-hormones has done the practice of medicine and the population as a whole a great disservice.  It is only through the separation of these two compounds and not allowing peer reviewed papers to be published without designating what is being used that we can achieve our goal of being reconnected to the sun.

I had always thought that the complications of not having accurate serum vitamin D levels or 25(OH)D was a matter of the different test methods not giving either totals of the two or only values for one or the other  –  25(OH)D2 or 25(OH)D3.  In the later case I was right as is suggested by what was being done at one of our university hospitals.  But it turns out that it is a lot more complicated.  Consider the recent release by the American Chemical Society – “New Standard for vitamin D testing to assure accurate test results”, January 25, 2012.  The paper describes the storage metabolites of vitamin D:  “The researchers developed four versions of the standard, with different levels of the vitamin D metabolites 25(OH)D2 and 25(OH)D3 in human serum. They also determined the levels of 3-epi-25(OH)D in the adult human serum samples. Surprisingly, they found that this metabolite — previously thought to only exist in the blood of infants — was present in adult serum. “This reference material provides a mechanism to ensure measurement accuracy and comparability and represents a first step toward standardization of 25(OH)D measurements,” say the researchers.”  It seems that these epi-metabolites have a less effect on calcium.  In order of effect on increasing hypercalcemia, it is 3-epi-25(OH)D3, 25(OH)D3, 3-epi-25(OH)D2, and 25(OH)D2 (and don’t forget the toxisterols that can be made during manufacture of D2 from over irradiation of fungus).  It also seems that the epi-compounds are just as effective as the original.  Did I get this correct?  Here is a starting place for you to begin your consideration. 1α,25(OH)2-3-Epi-Vitamin D3, a Natural Physiological Metabolite of Vitamin D3: Its Synthesis, Biological Activity and Crystal Structure with Its Receptor  This is an open access to the full paper.  Do you begin to see the need for the separation of D2 and D3 and metabolites?

Now does this really get us to a better place in the understanding of our natural hormone D?  Consider the recent attention on cholesterol sulfate and the resulting compounds of hormones that are made from cholesterol sulfate, in particular vitamin D3 sulfate.  So now are we looking at eight storage metabolites instead of four?  How confusing can it get?  Consider what the writers of this paper:  HPLC Method for 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Measurement: Comparison with Contemporary Assays, March 2006, had to say: “According to Shimada et al., nearly equal amounts of 25(OH)D3 sulfate and 25(OH)D3 are usually present in patient sera.”  The Shimada paper: Shimada K, Mitamura K, Higashi T. Determination of vitamin D3 metabolites using high-performance liquid chromatography or immunoaffinity chromatography. J Chin Chem Soc 2000;47:285-228.  

Only after the clinical outcomes related to the levels of the eight compounds, 3-epi-25(OH)D3, 25(OH)D3, 3-epi-25(OH)D2, 25(OH)D2, 3-epi-25(OH)D3 sulfate, 25(OH)D3 sulfate, 3-epi-25(OH)D2 sulfate, and 25(OH)D2 sulfate are determined will we be able to accurately assess the health benefits  of vitamin D. 

Just think of the confusion of test methods to determine the amounts of the various vitamin D compounds and correlating clinical outcomes with one thing that we call 25(OH)D.  Researchers and reviewers, it is really up to you.  If you fail in allowing papers to be published without making the necessary distinctions, then, the population will continue to suffer at your ineptness. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary HHS   –  Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, are you listening?  Okay, all you chickens, GET UP!

If you really were not curious and you made it this far anyway, then may God bless you and go spend some time in the sun.  – Pandemic Survivor

Death Panels in US Health Care

During the present conversation on Health Care Reform legislation, there has been a lot of discussion about death panels.  It seems that proponents of the present legislation have claimed that these panels are just scare tactics by those that do not want the legislation to pass.  Here is an article from the New York Times discussing this issue. False ‘Death Panel’ has some Familiar Roots. Could it be that the real death panels are those groups that are appointed specifically as ‘non-biased’ for reporting to HHS, NIH, FDA, Department of Defense, and other government sponsoring bodies?  The NY Times article claims “There is nothing in any of the legislative proposals that would call for the creation of death panels or any other governmental body that would cut off care for the critically ill as a cost-cutting measure.”

A committee or Food and Nutrition Board was appointed in September, 2008 to discuss and report on Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium.  This committee is an arm of the Institute of Medicine and a sub-division of the National Academy of Sciences.  The NAS was formed specifically to keep political views from entering into scientific decisions.  From the Project Information for this FNB:  “The project is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Institutes of Health, Food and Drug Administration, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion), U.S. Department of Agriculture (Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Agricultural Research Service), U.S. Department of Defense (Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center), and Health Canada.”

Dr. John Cannell, Vitamin D Council, was upset at the appointment of the members of this committee because he felt that the committee was biased because there was no one on the committee that been a leader in the ‘Vitamin D Revolution’.  That was reported in his January 21, 2009 newsletter.  Here is a feel for his upset from that newsletter:  “Are these statements the reason the IOM excluded these vitamin D experts?  Perhaps the IOM dislikes criticism more than it loves candor? When the new FNB vitamin D recommendations come out next summer, will those recommendations continue to “offend the most basic principles of pharmacology and toxicology?”  If any member of the new board disagrees with the consensus of the board, will that scientist be allowed to produce a minority opinion without risking the loss of research grants in the future? “  I agree somewhat with John’s statements but it is also necessary not to have biased viewpoints on the committee which will make their report stronger evidence of the effects of vitamin D on the human body.  This from their Conflicts of Interest Policy: “Finally, it is essential that the work of committees that are used by the institution in the development of reports not be compromised by issues of bias and lack of objectivity.”

They certainly would not want me on the committee having been pulled from the ‘jaws of death’ by vitamin D.  I am exceptionally and without shame biased!!  Dr. Cannell’s point is that there is no money to be made in the sale of vitamin D because it is one of the least expensive nutritional supplements on the market and it is free from sun exposure. Why not have some of the scientists on the committee that are the closest to the research?  After all, these researchers have already demonstrated their character and their lack of bias by risking their careers in objecting to current practices.  There are people in this esteemed list of doctors and scientist appointed to the committee that have done research on vitamin D so there is a body of knowledge that is inherent in this committee.  So the question – is there any bias on this committee?  List of committee members and a brief bio of their work.

When you look at bias you are always concerned about a scientist taking a strong viewpoint that could undermine his objectivity to the decision making process.  Also you do not want a scientist that will gain materially from the decision that is being made.  This last statement excludes everyone on the board.  Not only does everyone on the board stand to not profit from their decision, the decision could reduce funding to their research projects by as much as half of everything they do.  When it becomes knowledge that vitamin D is an essential hormone necessary to sustain life the amount of death from illness by chronic disease will be reduced by half and the medical industry including medical research will shrink accordingly.

This Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine on Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, is by definition a death panel.  Through their decisions they stand to significantly impact the centers of commerce and the flow of money throughout the world by improving the health of the world or holding to status quo.  Financial Times has already discussed the fact that the reason the vitamin D science has not come forward is because of the money. Read this article:  Why Governments are Selling Vitamin D Short – Sam Apple – published October 23, 2009 Financial Times:  and my comments from my post ‘A Major Newspaper Gets It”

Dr. Cannell you are absolutely correct about the possibility of bias and so the question is will the members of this committee recuse themselves?  Every member of this committee stands to lose. It is now a matter of character if the correct decisions are made.  Dr. A. Catherine Ross, Chairman of this FNB, has the lives of millions of people in the world in her hands as well as the weight of the economic future of the world.  The decisions of this committee will be the most powerful influence on health and economics that have been made in the history of the world since the death camps and declaration of war during World War II.  I do not envy this appointment.  My prayers are for you Dr. Ross and the committee.

Life, sometimes, is not easy in the sun.   – Pandemic Survivor